Category Archives: Featured Articles

The featured articles at Techie Buzz

Watch Golden Globe Awards 2010 Online

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) annually presents the prestigious Golden Globe Awards for outstanding achievements in the motion picture and television industries, both domestic and foreign. The Golden Globe Awards rank as one of the most watched awards ceremony, only surpassed by the Academy (Oscar) Awards and the Grammys. The 67th Golden Globe Awards will be presented on January 17th 2010, from 5-8 PM (PST) and 8-11PM (EST),   and will honor the outstanding achievements of the two industries in 2009.

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A host of industry greats attend this ceremony and the star power of this ceremony only foreshadows the amount of glitter and glamour that accompanies it. The host this time is none other than Ricky Gervais, the man who co-wrote, produced, directed and acted in a mock-documentary sketch that would later form the basis of British television’s funniest series, The Office.

Ricky Gervais

As previously mentioned, this ceremony is highly anticipated and watched. If you are not a TV person, you can watch the ceremony on your internet-enabled personal computer as well! NBC is covering the entire ceremony live and streaming it online. You can even watch it on Facebook and let your friends know that you are watching it with a tie-in status update so that they can join in watching this! However, for the Techie Buzz lovers, you can watch the entire show right from this page! The ustream.tv livestream below will stream in up-to-the-minute video from the Awards ceremony! You can also try and watch the live show at  atdhe.net.

Online video chat by Ustream

The nominees for this year’s awards are wide and varied, as always. From Avatar to Inglourious Basterds (did I spell that right?!) to The Hangover to what I consider one of the best SF movies in recent times, District 9. Martin Scorsese will be honored with a Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement joining an illustrious group of people that includes Steven Spielberg, Gene Hackman, Al Pacino, Harrison Ford and Audrey Hepburn.

Tell us who you think will win this time’s Golden Globes and why in the comments!

Google Earning More From Music Lovers? Amazon?

I have a very good ear for music, and listen to it quite often. However, more often than not I listen to it online on YouTube and have several playlists there. As always, I use Google to search YouTube, as it is mostly the first result for my song search, however, that has now changed.

Take a look at the screenshot below.

Google Making Money From Music Lovers

As you can see, Google has now replaced YouTube with Amazon links and links from Lala, for which they have a deal with for Google Music search.

And where are the YouTube results, well they are there alright, but not on the first scroll. Understandably, Google would want to make more revenue off searches, but I would rather like to see YouTube back on top rather than having to scroll down to find it.

What do you think?

Windows Mobile 7 Not Coming at Mobile World Congress

Ok, I have confirmed news that Windows Mobile 7 is not coming out at MWC. This news has been confirmed for me by an insider who I would not want to expose.

Before, you start going at my credentials or those of my insider let me put few facts in place:

  • Microsoft relies on pre-release publicity for their products and there has been none for Windows Mobile 7.
  • Microsoft tests their products on OEMs and let’s them demo it, however, nothing of that sort has happened with Windows Mobile 7.

Here is a brief of what my insider source told me:

Windows Mobile 7 is still being developed, you will see a demo of it soon. It is there right but not there yet. I work my ass out and we are all under pressure but I cannot reveal what or when the beta or RC will be ready. It should be ready sooner than later but do not expect it to come out in a month or two and definitely not by next month.

We have a beta and RC process of a month or two and we are at Alpha right now. Based on this you assume what you want. But if you know your release cycles well you will know how much time it takes to get from Alpha to Beta and Beta to RCxx and from there to final.

So unfortunately, Windows Mobile 7 might come out sometime soon, but don’t expect it to come out at MWC, unlike earlier it should be ready for devices to start testing it, but yes it is certainly not going to be there at MWC.

Google China Gets a New Doodle Representing 4 Inventions in China

The Google China controversy has snowballed into a huge media event and has already received condolences from Chinese users. However, it looks like Google is continuing to do what they do, before they may or may not pull out operations from China.

Google China Doodle

If you visit Google’s China page today (http://ww.google.cn), you will be greeted with a which showcases the 4 great inventions of China.

What are the 4 Great Inventions?

  1. Paper Making
  2. The Compass
  3. Gun Powder
  4. Movable Type

If you want to read more about the inventions, you can visit this page (English Translation). Incidentally the first result which shows up on clicking on the Google Doodle is from Baidu, the biggest search engine in China.

Gmail’s Got Your Back, Rolls Out HTTPS as Default

Gmail has always been widely under attack, however, most of the times user’s account are compromised because of phishing, rather than because of the lack of security @Gmail.

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HTTPS or HTTP_Secure, is a secure way of transmitting data to and fro on the web. Unlike HTTP, HTTPS data is encrypted before a transfer occurs. This makes data transfered through HTTPS hard to snoop on, and allows users a safer way to browse the web.

Gmail did have an option for users to use HTTPS as default, through a feature. Today, Google graduated the feature out of labs. This means that all Gmail users will now automatically start using HTTPS by default. Users have an option to disable HTTPS by default by visiting “Settings -> Labs” and choosing “Don’t always use https”

However, HTTPS alone cannot save you from being hacked. There are several other ways in which you can protect your online accounts. The first rule is, NEVER click on links in emails sent by strangers. The second rule is, NEVER download content that are sent by strangers.

You can also make use of a Gmail Labs feature called Anti-Phishing Key, which allows you to distinguish between legitimate and spam email. However, this feature has a limited scope and only supports eBay and PayPal right now.

If your Gmail account is hacked, you might want to read what steps you should perform in order to check the safety of your Gmail Account

Using "email AT domain Dot com" Makes Spammers Job Easier

We are all afraid of our email addresses being harvested and being used to send us spam. To overcome that fear, some bright person (who I don’t know) came up with an idea to use “email AT domain DOT com”, this essentially thwarted a spammer’s regex attack to harvest email address which were written as [email protected].

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However, spammers have gotten smarter, and using the above idea has gotten to be more dangerous than using your actual email address. Here is a very startling reason why, thanks to chris@localhost.

Search engines don’t index special characters, so an email of the form [email protected] protected from this sort of discovery.   The basic trouble is email AT domain DOT comis completely indexed by search engines, and its unique enough that whenever you see at domain dot com, you know its part of an email address.

So, rest assured if you continue to use this method to “protect” your email address, you might very well be saying hello to new spammers. Why? A simple Google query can give spammers access to at-least 1000 or more email addresses, and most spammers are usually good at writing decent regex to harvest emails.

How to Avoid Spammers and Still Share Your Email Address

Well, if you are already afraid of sharing your email address in public, let me tell you that there are several more ways in which you can actually share your email id online without having to worry about spammers.

Here are few ways in which you can safely share your email address online.

  1. Share your email address with reCAPTCHA Mailhide – One of the most effective ways (yet not foolproof) to put a halt to spamming is using a CAPTCHA. With the help of reCAPTCHA Mailhide, users will have to fill in a CAPTCHA before they can see your email address.
  2. Using Anonymous or Temporary Email IDs – Another efficient way of keeping away from spammers is to make the use of anon or temporary email IDs which cannot be linked back to your original account. If you think an anon ID is being spammed, simply delete it and your email will remain safe from spam.
  3. Email Obscurification – A good way to hide your email address on webpages is to obscure the actual email address and hide it behind a set of illegible code. This service provides a good way to obscure your email address using JavaScript.
  4. Using Images to Share Email – Another good way (yet not foolproof) of sharing your email address is to create an image with your email address and share it with others. You will find several online services to create images with your email address, Safe Mail is a good place to start out at.

Summarizing

The problem with technology is that everyone has access to it, including the spammers. It is always good to mix and match your security measures, rather than create a pattern.

Email spam filters are also getting powerful day by day, however, I must admit that they are too not always accurate and might let through spam or throw up false-positives.

Thanks for the tip Nischal Shetty

Google Chrome “Goats Teleported” Easter Egg for Linux

The folks at Google and in-fact lots of other major companies have a knack for hiding Easter eggs within their products. We have covered several such in the past.

However, we can across another Easter Egg in where users can teleport goats from the Task Manager. This is basically available on version 4.0.266.0 of the Linux version of Chrome.

I was unable to confirm this on a machine, however here are some screenshots from a Linux version of Google Chrome.

google_chrome_goats_teleported

To experience the Easter egg, follow the steps given below.

  1. Open Google Chrome and a few tabs
  2. Press Shift+Esc to open the task manager
  3. Right click on any process and click on “Goats Teleported”
  4. Restart the browser and open the task manager again to see the number of Goats teleported for each tab.

goats_teleported_task

This currently only works on Google Chrome for Linux, we are waiting to see if this Easter egg makes its way to Windows and Mac versions. Looks like Google was in a hurry to teleport the goats to the penguins first :-)

Thanks for the second screenshot Kunal Gautam

Key Announcements From Dell Press Conference

Today, Dell Press Conference was held at CES 2010 between 8:45am to 9:15am. At the press conference, Dell has shown a sneak peak of their new and future products. Dell unveiled a full range of Inspiron notebooks powered by Intel Core i3 and Core i5 processors. They have also announced Android based mobile phone. Dell was completely focused on mobility and latest technology factors while launching their products throughout the event. Check out the key announcement from Dell Press Conference below.

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  • Dell is planning to expand their business globally.
  • Dell unveiled a full range of Inspiron notebooks based on Intel Core i3 and Core i5 processors.
  • The Inspiron 14, 15 and 17 laptops offer thinner chassis, HD displays and Intel’s Core i5 chips.
  • Two new desktops, the Inspiron 580 and 580s are offered with new Intel chips and a range of color choices.

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  • All the notebooks announced during the event comes with Consumer Ultra Low Voltage (CULV) design and great graphics with ATI.
  • Core i5 machines are now available for purchase.
  • Core i3 machines will be available within two weeks.
  • Along with notebooks, Dell announced Inspiron Mini 10 netbooks with the Broadcom Accelerator

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  • Alienware M11x gaming notebooks was also announced during the events.
  • It comes with 11.6-inch display and NVIDIA GT335M graphics.
  • Alienware M11x gaming notebooks has 6.5 hours of battery-life.
  • You can even hot switch to “gaming mode” and you can get over two hours of intense graphics and gaming.
  • The Alienware M11x also offers HD resolution display.
  • You can even use the HDMI out feature to connect your Alienware M11x gaming notebooks with your HDTV’s for amazing gaming experience.
  • This netbook will be shipped during spring.
  • Alienware M11x gaming notebook comes with a price tag of $1000.

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  • Dell has also announced Android powered mobile phones.
  • Mini 3 is the first mobile phone from Dell.
  • This device will be available with AT&T in US.
  • Dell says that Mini 3 is the Dell’s version of Google Android.
  • Dell is also planning to launch slate computers.
  • This tablet will come with run on Google Android OS
  • Dell slate will come with a big touchscreen keyboard, multi-device gaming and multi-device media sharing.

dell ces

As per the expectations, Dell unveiled a range of amazing products during the event. Please let us know your views in the comments.

Live Coverage of Steve Ballmer Keynote

Oh my God, what a start to the Steve Ballmer keynote, before it could even begin there was a light failure and all the computers crashed, not a good sign for something everybody has been announcing.

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The opening statement featured a small video by Seth Myers! from Saturday Night live, where he thanked technology for several different advancements in his life, frankly speaking it was quite boring.

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Steve Ballmer also talked about Project Natal, which is set, 39 million users of Xbox, 30 million games sold with 200 billion as revenue.

Bing will be the default search engine on HP PCs across the world and MSN will be default homepage on Internet Browsers. Now that will definitely grow their market share quite a bit.

Zune HD is getting rave reviews from technology publications. Zune is offering HD videos on par with XBox Live.

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Windows Mobile 6.5 to shape future, displays HD2. Will talk about Windows mobile at the Mobile World Congress.

7:15PM: Steve B is now talking about and the features, apparently he loves it very much.

7:17PM: Windows 7 is the fastest selling operating system in history. It has seen a 50% jump in the holiday season.

7:19PM: Over 300 million PCs shipped last year. It is best time to be a Windows 7 PC.

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7:20PM: Over 4 million applications are available for Windows.

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7:21PM: Ryan Asdourian, Senior Product Manager, Windows , walks in to demo some Windows 7 PCs and more, starts with the Lenovo 800 and Median touch and Sony VAIO and Adamo XPS.

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7:25PM: Displaying 3D gaming.

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7:27PM: First new announcement of the day, a software called Blio Reader. Allows you to watch videos inside books or listen to it.

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7:30PM: Showing sharing and collaboration in .

7:32PM: Talking about Bing Maps and Silverlight.

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7:34PM: Demoing TV Technology and how Windows can help it with Cable card on your PC. Records 4 HD Channels at once.

7:38PM: Yawn, this is getting boring.

7:40PM: AT&T will enable a UVERSE on Xbox 360 on Media Room.

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7:42PM: More focus on Silverlight, which will be the future of most of Microsoft Technology.

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7:44PM:  Pegatron Slate PC, HP Slate PC. Almost affordable as a phone and running Windows 7.

hp_slate_pc kindle_for_pc

7:45PM: Steve singles out the HP slate PC as expected. Demoing Kindle for PC, you can download content from Amazon. Sorry no Courier.

7:46PM: Demo video going on now.

7:49PM: President of Entertainment at Microsoft, Robbie Bach, walks in. Says, "The rich array of sports and entertainment transports you. What I love about working at MSFT is that the best software has the same effect.". He is talking about Xbox and gaming.

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7:50PM: Exclusive games coming to Xbox 360, Mass Effect, MW2 and more. Alan Wake a new episode game coming to Xbox.

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7:54PM: Robbie is talking about Halo, a new announcement of Halo Reach.

7:57PM: Halo Reach is coming in fall of 2010, exclusively on Xbox 360. Multi-player Beta coming out in Spring 2010.

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7:58PM: One new member joined Xbox Live every second.

7:58PM: 4000 downloads since the keynote began.

7:59PM: Demo of movie rentals, partnerships with Netflix, Canal+ and talk about , and more.

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8:01PM: Relive old arcade games from Nintendo and Atari on Xbox Gameroom and Windows PC. Users can play more than 30 games from Arcade age.

8:03PM: Every day one new game will be released with over 1000 arcade games being relased over 3 years in the Game Room.

8:05PM: Talking about technology in everyday life.

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8:06PM: Project Natal for Xbox 360, gaming without controllers. Control your game, your character through the moment of your body. Shoot with your hands, run to run in the game. 3D camera adds more information. Microsoft build the software.

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8:07PM: Natal technology changes itself to fit the way the player plays. 50% hardware and 50% software in Project Natal.

8:10PM: Project Natal is coming this holiday 2010. Project Natal will work on your current Xbox console.

8:11PM: Halo Reach will be a Project Natal Game

And that is the end ladies and gentlemen. This was quite a dud keynote with a fail start and no major announcements except for Xbox 360 and Project Natal. So all eyes will definitely be on Steve Jobs now and the .

Closing it out on this live blogging session. This is the first one I did, so don’t forget to give me your feedback, it will help me improve in the future.